We are conducting surveys, monitoring, and research on cougars (puma, mountain lion) on the Ladder Ranch in south-central New Mexico. Here, cougars are of particular interest given their effects on state-endangered desert bighorn sheep and other valuable big game. These projects are also resources for training and education, most notably through the Cougar Field Workshop.

Friday, October 13, 2006

This desert bighorn (Ovis canadensis) ram was photographed with one of our remote cameras in March of this year at a water catchment. Bighorn sheep seem to cope well with low water availability but desert bighorns are especially well adapted. They may go 15 days or more without access to water and may loose up to 30% of their total body water. Since 1900 most desert bighorn populations have been extirpated. However, in the last few decades several of these populations have been reestablished through the efforts of state wildlife agencies.


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